The MyoFitness instructors work hard to knock down the barriers that prevent people from getting fit. Rather than summoning clients to gyms, they come to homes and offices for private personal-training and private yoga sessions, sparing clients the hassle of driving home sweaty or finding a babysitter for their needy, needy house plant. Unlike following along to yoga and fitness videos, this brand of one-on-one attention helps ensure proper form and reduce the chance of injury. And to assist with ongoing progress, the instructors also dole out nutrition advice and counseling tailored to suit the needs of each client.
Though programs vary based on each individual, trainers typically begin programs with a focus on core strength and balance skills, and then move on to secondary muscle movements—a progression designed to reduce the risk of injury. In addition to participating in on-location sessions, clients can opt to meet trainers at the gym or join group fitness classes and rigorous boot-camp workouts.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Center Ice Arena grants skaters plenty of space to perfect their gliding strides with a trio of NHL regulation size ice rinks that host open skates and lessons as well as the home games of the Allegheny Badgers amateur youth hockey. The arena starts beginners of all ages off on the right blade with its Learn to Skate program, which covers the fundamental mechanics common to speed skating, hockey, and figure skating, preparing participants for national programs or a permanent move to the North Pole. The Learn to Play Hockey program focuses the instruction, helping kids learn to turn and make hockey stops. Students and recreational skaters can show off their skills during the arena’s daily public skates, the times of which can be found on the arena’s calendar of events. A comprehensive fitness and entertainment center, the arena also houses a fitness center open to both skaters and the public, a party room, and a video arcade.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.